January 31, 2009

And what I'm knitting is (are).....

I thought I was so done with gift knitting.  Whatever I cast on next, it (they) were to be for me. Me, me, me.

And, I suddenly remembered two of my friends are having babies this March.  One in Japan, one in the USA.  I had a long session of browsing through Ravelry pattern search, and got confused a bit, hit Yoshikawa (the craft store with the most yarn selection) along the way home from Mom's hospital and got two bags (5 balls each, green and white) and a ball of blue yarn "for baby".  They are wool-acrylic mix and machine washable.  I agree with the ideology that a baby should be dressed only in inflammable fiber, but I don't want to force the new moms-of-two (they both are having their second child) to handwash something.  "Machine Washable" means "Hey, it's just an everyday wear, wear it out, there's plenty like this one" and make the baby dressed in it more.

So, I'm knitting these;
EZ baby sweater on the way
peapod baby hat
I'm planning to add a blue i-cord border on the sweater above.  These are for a boy.

Another is a baby of gender-unknown, so next set would be all in green (gender neutral color in my opinion).  I am sure I got the yardage. 

And I started a pair of socks for my daughter with this yarn;
Fjord look 717
I think this is the only sock yarn available to me on go-and-get basis.  I can buy this yarn at a store in 20-min subway ride distance.  
I could buy beautiful sock yarns online, I could even ask my friends in the USA to receive my order of KnitPicks yarn for me, but, I think I should at least try and figure out what's available easily is good enough or not.
So far, the sock is knitting up OK.  Just OK.  Not heart striking lovely, but lovely enough to save the rest for my pair.  I hope this yarn could substitute Lion Brand Sock-Ease (jojoba oil? Aloe vela? what was in that yarn?  It's nice, but not essential for me) for a no-brainer stockinette stitch sock.  I don't expect it to substitute Opal.  Color repeat is much shorter on this one and black/white part doesn't make up that lovely pattern.  Much busier, so to speak.

So, my pullover is pulled down on my list.  And looks like a Startitis has sneakingly hit me. Well, OK.  I'm in that phase of a life, apparently.

January 30, 2009


get well shawl detail 2
Pattern; Knotted Openwork Stole by Cindy Greenslade
Yarn; Handmaiden Fine Yarn Casbah Sock
Needle; US 13 Knitpicks Options 32in circ

I knit this in 4 days.  It was for my mother, who just was hospitalized to treat her heart.  Now her surgery went perfect, her kidneys decided not to go on a strike (which they did last spring, for a very short period) and she is recovered, like, 60-70 %.  She calls this shawl "That Fishnet" with sweet affection.
The yarn is very, very lovely in touch, and very, very warm (by mom's word).  One of my purchase in Canada found a destiny.

There was an error in this pattern, but I figured out the correction referring other pattern using exact the same stitch.
Maybe someday, I might make one for myself, too.

I thought I had posted about this shawl.  Thanks for reminding me that I missed it, Melissa.

January 20, 2009

Something for myself

I have finished four pairs of socks, two pairs of fingerless mitts (Mosaic mitts for Aunt Kei is done!), one pair of Selbu style mittens, one pair of Selbu style gloves, one shawl, one cover shorts, one crochet skirt, one neckwarmer and one hat over these three month.  I'm pretty satisfied with my productivity.  Everything but my casquette is for my family and friends I love.  I am such a happy knitter surrounded by these circle of people who likes my knitting.  And all the joy of knitting, finishing them is mine.  I am the one who had fun.

Am I OK to think it's about time to knit one or two lovely stuff just for myself?

Leavened Raglan from Knits 2007 Fall issue?
brioche swatch
I did a swatch over a year ago and got yarns (Patons SWS -Soy Wool Stripes) enough for the project (or so I think).  It needs a little calculation because my yarn is thinner so this swatch is off gauge if I should follow the pattern, but I like the fabric of my swatch.  I'll simply go for a bigger size (=more stitches), but which size I should choose?  I need a sit-down time without any distraction.  I'm not bad at math at the level required to knitting, but I'm almost 40.  My brain needs to be treated nice to function OK.

Ah, but, a light but soothing knitting before that.  Because I got this little beauty from my friend.
Adriafil Knitcol
My daughter, who is surely on the right track as a knitter, said "You can make a hat with this rainbow (her term for "multi-color") yarn!" at the moment she saw it.  She may be a genius.  (Of course I had checked your pattern, Janet, but I didn't notice first this is the exact yarn you used for it.  I'm sorry, but, forgive me.  I'm almost 40.  Oh, did I just mention it?  Oh, no.)  To show her my respect as a knitter, I have to make a hat for her.  Or should I put this skein in her stash?  Hmmm.  

I'm all set for a little selfishness.  ... After ongoing pair of socks (Sockdown! January project, Clover) for my cousin, though.

January 18, 2009

Mom's neckwarmer

Mom's neclwarmer basket rib
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Pattern; My own, it's just a ribbed tube.
Yarn; Lion Brand Sock-ease, colorway Lemon drop
Needles; US 3 (3.25mm) and 2(2.75mm) 24in circ

I had been swatching for Sockdown! project for January. I chose Clover from The Inside Loop. I was curious if any of variegated yarns in my stash works for this pattern (and figured out none likely). When I visited my mom at her hospital at the end of December, she noticed my swatch/ pulse warmer. She loved the color, and I readily offered to make something for her out of this yarn. The only problem was, I only bought one ball of it. She can have either a pair of socks, a pair of gloves or a hat. "Or, a neckwarmer." "That's it."

I started this on January 1st. I tried a tubular cast on and I loved the look. K1P1 rib all the way was the very first plan, but it was too boring. I took a look at 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Calendar while working on 2nd or 3rd round, and, there it was. Basket Rib. I switched to it and my beautiful tubular cast on edge started rolling up. Uh-oh. I kept on (because I hate frogging and, I'm my mom's baby - I gotta come up with some simple solution on the spot and just go ahead, whatever way I'm on) and thought and thought.

Rolling up occurs when knit and purl is unbalanced. The simplest way to make a knitted fabric stay flat is knit and purl evenly. I loved basket rib fabric, so I don't want change it. I have to add stay-flat edge on the tube, and ending with K1P1 rib is the simplest solution. OK, and knitting with smaller needles will definitely works to pull the end of the tube neatly. (Which I should have thought of at the first place. I know.)
Saving my lovely tubular cast-on seemed hopeless. I decided to pick up from the edge and add K1P1 rib downward. But, do I have to pick up all the way? How about making it a little like one side Dickeys?

When I finally come up with that idea, the amount of yarn left looked so small. Yes, almost all the time, I just kept on and on blank-mindedly.

I ended up picking up from almost 90% of CO edge (sob). Making K1P1 rib back and forth, decreasing 1 stitch on each end every row, I was crossing fingers in my mind. When the yarn finally run out, there was a brim/flap of about 2.5 in length. It doesn't look like any dickeys at all.  I don't know how much difference it makes on covering her forehead or back of her neck. It just worked to keep the tube in shape.
Mom's neclwarmer
My mom loved it. What she loved the most other than the color?
She put the warmer on, and said, "Whoo, it doesn't itch!"

January 05, 2009

Belated Christmas knitting

After I thought my Christmas knitting is done, I made my daughter's mittens and my mom's shawl and..
Mika's mitts close
a pair of fingerless mitts for my sister.
Pattern; Mosaic Mitts by Sandy Cushman (Interweave Knits 2006 holiday issue)
Yarn; La Primera (Kurabo) Junmou Chu-boso in 13 (pink) and 17 (navy), Wool Multi Color Chu-boso in 105
Needles; US 1 1/2 DPN (KnitPicks Harmony sock needles)

I think I should have include these in my Christmas knitting 2008.  And also a pair of mittens or socks for my aunt.

Or maybe not.  A gift knit should not be limited only to holidays.  Nor to birthdays.  Even if it's not a special occasion, I can knit anything for anybody.